Published on Let's Talk Development

Natural Disasters, Aid, and Egypt

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An 8.9 magnitude earth quake and extremely destructive Tsunami waves have left Japan reeling.Thousands of people are dead and many more still remain missing. As the effects of the disaster unfold, the international community is concerned about a) How Japan will come out of this crisis, and b) How this crisis will impact energy prices. Robert Peston shares his thoughts on reconstruction of Japan in an insightful post ‘How will Japan finance its reconstruction?’, and to know about energy prices, read the post ‘The Japanese Crisis and World Energy Prices’ by Catherine Rampell. However, the worst is not over as there are fears of radioactive leakage at the Fukushima nuclear plant. This has led to serious concerns on the safety of nuclear power plants around the world, especially in the US. 
With the devastating Haiti earthquake just a year back and the recent Japan incident, the international community's focus is on natural disasters. Drawing data from the 2010 World Disasters Report, the post ‘A decade of disasters - get the key data’ gives a comprehensive analysis on the subject. The World Bank and UN's joint report, 'Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters' looks at disasters primarily through an economic lens.

'Results' and 'Value for Money' are often discussed in context of foreign aid. Should they matter? The question is indeed debatable, and an interesting debate is already happening on the blog ‘From Poverty to Power’. While most aid money is for the benefit of the poor, their needs are often not taken into consideration in designing programs. Claire Melamed sheds light on this subject in her post ‘What do poor people want?’ on the Poverty Matters blog.

What is happening in Egypt now? To know about the transition in Egypt’s political landscape and the challenges ahead, read thispost from Alina Rocha Menocal on the ODI blog.

And finally, on a lighter note, does one’s height determine their state of happiness? It  might be true, especially for taller males. To know more, read this post on the Economix blog.

Some other interesting links
"Do we need big banks?" by Asli Demirgüç-Kunt
"Homeward Bond - New York Times Op-Ed on diaspora bonds" by Dilip Ratha







Swati Mishra

Communications Strategist

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